When they talk about just desserts, the Los Angeles Dodgers can’t seem to get out of their own way in trying to steal the conversation. And despite warnings from MLB to get their payroll under control, apparently they can’t resist the temptation to shower journeyman pitcher Rich Hill with 40 million U.S. dollars. At least that’s the deal that’s all but done. No offense, Rich, but P.T. Barnum was right… there really is a sucker born every minute.
Rich Hill had the same kind of year in 2016 that Donald Trump did. All of the stars lined up perfectly. A perfect storm that formed out of nowhere. Trump rode the wave to the presidency. Rich Hill rose to the top of his chosen career also to become one of the most sought after free agent pitchers on the baseball market today. And you just had to know that one franchise would emerge to sign this one-year wonder. And it would be a team like the Dodgers, who can’t help but throw good money after bad.
Commissioner Manfred, the Dodgers are all yours to deal with. You need to summon them to your office and do two things when they get there. First, have them place a call to Lloyd’s of London to see what the annual premium is going to be on this contract (if they’ll even get a underwriter to do it). And then take the paddle out because these guys need a darn good spanking.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Rich Hill, Starting Pitcher
Rich Hill will be starting his 13th year in the big leagues when the new season begins. Over the span of his career, his victories total 38. Thirty-eight! Twelve of those wins came last year. He made 20 starts last season, a miracle all by itself, pitching 110 innings which is about when most starters are just getting warmed up for the season. And somehow, he’s in line for what is said to be a three-year, $40 million contract.
You think that’s funny, get this. Before Rich Hill throws his first pitch of the season for the Dodgers, he will be 37 years old. So let’s get the pencil out again and let’s see… 37 + 3 = 40. Forty freaking years OLD.
Who Would Be Surprised If Rich Hill Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank?
I’m telling ya, you can’t make this stuff up. And who can blame Rich Hill, who if he has any grip on reality, must have done a back flip when his agent called telling him, “Rich, you’re not gonna believe this. But those idiots in Hollywood took the offer I made and you are set for life. And, as a matter of fact, so am I with my 10 percent.”
Andrew Cashner, who is only 30 and has just five fewer career wins in five fewer years than Rich Hill, just signed a one-year deal with the Rangers for $10 million. And the kid is happy because he’s going back home to the open range of Texas where the hunting is good year round. And the Rangers are happy, too, because they just filled an open spot in their rotation. Life doesn’t have to be complicated.
But no one should think that any of this is the fault of Rich Hill. Because no sensible person would turn down $10 million. Would Rich Hill have taken that offer? Probably not, but he might have taken $20 million or $25 million over two years if someone hadn’t offered him the $40 million.
You know what, come to think of it, turns out that Rich Hill is having a better year than Donald Trump.